Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mixed Bag of Activities - Including One for Mixedbag

This week, I had the week off to assist my kids with their first ventures out in the real world of bus travels on the way too and from school.  My son went on Tuesday and my daughter went on Wednesday.  That went very well.  I met them at the bus in the afternoon, and had my first trip to pick my son up from cricket training on the third day of school.  In between times, I fortunately was able to spend some time in the shed.
On Monday I was driving a few trains around and looking into the issues list from the previous Saturday’s Running Session.  I number of wagons have had their coupler heights adjusted between 0.010” to 0.030”.  I adjusted the coupler on one second hand loco and I feel it is now playing more nicely with its friends than previously.  I also adjusted how the lights about the southern end of Glenapp Loop were located.
On Thursday I bent up some wire assist with hanging of the LED lights above The Risk Loop.  On Friday I went to Bunnings and picked up the hardware to allow the installation of the lights above the layout shelf.
On Saturday after returning from my son's cricket trial, I attached the light brackets to the layout and they developed a very sad case of the droops.  Whoops!  The wire supporting them was not stiff enough.  After thinking, I decided to add two direct vertical supports at each end.  That certainly raised the light and alleviated the droop. 
Following some thinking I thought I would investigate a more solid arrangement and built a new light support out of wood.  Only finding one piece of hardware to make the brackets, I visited Bunnings again and just got home before all hell broke loose.  I was stuck in the shed getting pounded by hail of about 12-15mm, although I think I saw the very odd piece close to 25mm.  We lost power for close to 10 hours.  I went out the front of our house, and we lost a few trees in the front garden - snapped off.  Two and a half hours later and I had chopped these up and there is big gap in the garden where these trees used to be.  But that is nothing compared to the local park about 50m away.  There is a huge gum there about 30m tall - or I should say used to be.  There were about 4 other trees uprooted and many others with branches snapped off.  About 4km away at our local state school, where polling was taking place, at least two big gums, about 25m tall were uprooted - I bet the people handing out 'how to vote' cards, might have wanted to use the cards for some other purpose during the storm.
This photo shows the light support made from aluminium supported by four 'L' shaped brackets off the Loco Pilly to Dutton Park incline.  It sagged so much that I had to add some direct vertical brackets at each end to 'un-droop' it.

This photo shows that light string illuminated.  It actually does makes a difference.

Here are four as yet to be installed replacement brackets that will also attach to the Loco Pilly to Dutton Park incline to support the light bracket at the top of the photo, replacing my originals.

Anyway back to model trains.  On Tuesday night I started out killing time by the building of a fuel tanker inspection gantry similar to what Southern Rail Models are selling in a kit for $275 (I already have made models of the other items in the kits over the previous few years).  Upon reflection the model I was building was probably built at twice the scale it needed to be.  So I have since offered it to my local O scale modellers - Lefty and Son.  So given the error of my way (O scale modelling) I restarted building a more appropriately scaled version on Wednesday night.  I continued this on Thursday and again some more on Friday.
A view of my HO version.  I need to add a few replacement steps to the stairs I found in my bits and pieces draw.

I'm happy with the version.  Once painted it will look good in one of my Fuel Sidings.
Following an email conversation with PK, I have volunteered to build a road over rail bridge for the Club HO scale clubroom layout.  I have cut the timbers for the two piers already.  I stained them today and just need to put them together.  I am short a few lengths of 3.5mm x 3.5mm basswood which I need to support the roadway.  I have used all my current supply up.  I may have to wait until I see Gwydir Valley Models, or maybe I may put in a mail order.
There were three reported issues at the last running session with a set of points on the main line with the divergent track going into Loco Pilly.  Well I put on my thinking cap and determined that I was getting a short on occasions on this kitbashed dual gauge point.  I was also getting no power on occasions on the exit of the points.  So I studied the issue and decided that I would feed the frog from the position of the point via a switch attached to the point motor.  I went looking through my collection of bits and found a Peco switch to install on the Peco point motor.  So I soldered all the wires up, followed by using the dremel tool to cut one of the closure rails to stop power routing.  Once that completed, a test was undertaken and it worked just like a bought one.  I might have to do the same at a few other my dual gauge kitbashed points.
This photo shows how the light bracket that spans the southern end of Glenapp Loop is supported on threaded rod.  Next to that is (was) the most troublesome point on the layout.  It allows entry to Loco Pilly (straight) or entry to the beginning of the northern end of Clapham Yard (curved).  The point motor now has a Peco switch on top that throws the polarity of the frog.

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